On Fri, 21 Aug 2009 10:01:50 -0500, Kevin Kinsey <k...@daleco.biz> wrote:
> I'd like to set up a box or two with a camera feeding an HDD for
> later review.  Is there a hardware/software combination you 
> use or recommend for video monitoring?

There are very simple but still powerful tools. Sadly, you need
very specific hardware to use them.

First of all, you need to find a video grabber card, usually
PCI, that is supported by FreeBSD's bktr driver. See "man
bktr" for more information. Those models are currently

     ·   AOpen VA1000
     ·   AVerMedia AVerTV Studio
     ·   AVerMedia TF/FM-98
     ·   ATI TV Wonder VE
     ·   Hauppauge WinCast/TV
     ·   Hauppauge WinTV-Go-FM
     ·   Hauppauge WinTV-pci
     ·   Hauppauge WinTV-radio
     ·   Intel Smart Video Recorder III
     ·   KWORLD PCI TV Tuner
     ·   Miro PC TV
     ·   Pinnacle PCTV Pro
     ·   Pinnacle PCTV Rave
     ·   PixelView PlayTV PAK
     ·   PixelView PlayTV Pro (rev 4C, 9D)
     ·   SIGMA TV II
     ·   STB TV PCI Television Tuner
     ·   Super TV Tuner
     ·   TerraTec TValue
     ·   V-Stream XPERT TV-PVR 878
     ·   Video Highway XTreme
     ·   VideoLogic Captivator PCI

I have such a card myself, and it works excellently with FreeBSD.

Now for the softwar. If you don't need stuff like motion triggers
or audio triggers, you can simply use mencoder to record from
the video-in source of the card. In case you have two cards, you
can use one mencoder command per card. In case you are able to
connect one camera via video, the other one via RF (antenna)
signal, you can use one mencoder command per input.

In principle, it works like this: You tell mplayer to record from
the given source into a file. You can specify the codec that should
be used in order to have files that are "small enough" not to fill
your hard disk within few hours, but are still "good enough" to
see something.

Refer to the good "man mencoder" manpage for examples how to do
that. You would probably use something like this:

mencoder -oac lavc -ovc lavc -of mpeg -mpegopts format=xvcd -af 
lavcresample=44100 -lavcopts 
 -ofps 25 -o video1.mpg tv://0

Don't get scared by the many options. I'm sure you'll only need
half of them.

Finally, I'm not quite sure if mplayer or mencoder is the correct
program for that. Maybe it's simple mplayer...

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...
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